Letting Go

After being brutally abused by her father and outcasted by her classmates, seventeen year old Keller Alvidas is glad and even relieved to spend her last year at Edge-of-The-World, the sleepy small town she grew up in. Everything changes when the Gabriels, a group of orphaned teenage boys arrives. They break all her rules about meeting new people but they too have secrets and when the truth comes out Keller has to decide wether to let go and save herself or to continue to be dragged through everything she wanted to run away from, all for one chance she might never get.

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16. Insanity

Gerald's (Keller's father) P.O.V

One, two, three. I pause, take a breath. Four, five, six. I pause again. Seven, eight, nine, ten.

I trace the cuts on my fingers for the thousandth time today, the only way you pass your time here in prison. I've tried clanking on the bars of my cell like the other inmates, or plotting my revenge like the phsycos do but I just don't have the heart for it. I drop my hands and pick up the knife under my cot, better start it now so I don't waste time later. I take one more shuddering breath.

One, two, three,four. My hands are home to four new cuts. Five,six, seven. Tears leak through my eyes, three more to go. Eight, nine, ten. I drop the knife and sigh, it's done for today. My hands leak ruby liquid and I smile, we're breaking even.  I deserve this, Keller had to go through this everyday and she ws only a kid. More tears leak through, my kid. I hurt and broke my own kid. Once I sobered up in this hell hole it finally dawned on me what I had done. I purposely drew a knife across her face and I relished in it. I felt good when I did it, like she deserved if for sneaking out. But she didn't deserve it. I have to deal with now, abusing a minor, that's what I did. This is now what I do, refusing counciling, refusing food and water and cutting like there's no tomorrow. Nothing will take off the guilt bearing down on me like lead.

"You, you're done. Get out," says one of the guards to me. I look at them confusedly, I'm free? He looks at me irritatingly.

"We've been over this, you got probation, you're free. Get your things and get out." I grab my small bundle of clothes and bandages and stumble out.  Free? The word feels different on my tongue, nasty. I don't deserve to be free, I don't deserve probation or whatever the guard said it was. Regardless of if I deserve this or not I still stumble my way through the labyrinth of cells and finally make it out into the dark night. The big electric fence buzzes open as one of the guards escort me out.

"Get lost," he mumbles. I trip over my feet and land face first into the hard gravel. My hands sting, the impact the ground has on my hands has the sensation of burning. My scarred hands are now coated with blood and dirt alike, just like when I cut Keller's face open, blood and dirt, blood and dirt. The words echo through my head and I get up and run even though I have no idea where I am. I have to make it to Edge-of-the-World. I have to make it back to Keller.

Keller's P.O.V

"Stop, stop! Please just stop..." I find myself begging. My father Gerald is standing over me, knife in hand, fingers poised for the kill. The knife he holds is already coated with my blood, blood from my chest. It pours out, a river of red, a sea of ruby and salt. I stuff my hand in the hole in my chest feeling my ribs poke against it. So  much blood lost, is all I think. He slahes at me now, long whip-like cuts cover my torso and I scream, my voice high and scratchy. The dark room we're in gves the illusion of a lightless world, a helpless world and I can't seem to find the exit.  He shoves the knife in deeper, he twists and twists and my heart feels like it's falling apart. I cough up blood and I feel the wet slime slither down my neck. He's killing me, I think.

"It's finished," laughs Gerald and he walks away, knife in  hand. I stagger to get up, knees too weak to fully stand up and a single bright light catches my attention. I run to it as best as I can while holding my gut to prevent my intestines spilling out, this could be my way out. Instead of a door that''ll get me a doctor, I see a mirror. I feel shocked, no one with a shred of humanity can to this to a person.

My hair is matted to my head in clumps and my face is covered in red. My shirt is torn to shreds  and the skin surrounding my middle section is stripped to the bone. The hole in my chest is large enough see from behind me and my legs are skinned and covered in knife slashes. I fall to the ground, no one can possibly survive this. The realization dawns on me, this is my corpse, this is me dead. A sad strangled noise escapes my throat. I am dead here and I can't come back. I lay my head down and weep, not caring that I'm loud because I'm dead. People don't listen to the dead.

I wake up with a start, my eyes landing on the analog clock across the room. It reads 7:30 and I jump out of bed, practically flying across the room to get dressed. I throw on faded vintage jeans and a white button up with my usual Converse. I run up to my mirror, rushing because it's 7:45 and I'm still not out the door when something startling happens.

Blink, I see my bloody face. Blink, swollen eyes. Blink, hole in chest. My blood runs cold,and I start to panic. My throat constricts again as I remember the article and the dream.

The dream. The dream where my dad kills me. I remember the article, he's coming back. In real life. I look at the mirror again, skin shredded to ribbons. I smile, my bloody face and white scar looking horrifying. Not only is my dad coming back, but I'm also slowly losing my mind.

Time slows as I walk to school by myself. I'm late by half an hour already and I honestly couldn't care less. I stare at my hands for the hundredth time since I started walking but it still hasn't changed. I can still see blood on my hands even though I haven't cut myself. I can still feel my swollen face even though I didn't hurt it. Gerald, my father did this. He did this in my dream and I can't get it out of my head. I'm going cazy, I'm literally losing my sanity, I think. The admittion makes my body heavy, as if it's weighted with lead and I don't feel like going to school anymore. I pull my head up and climb the steps. I bite at my bloody lips and step inside homeroom. My hands are bleeding again and I rub them on my jeans.

"Miss Keller, why are you late?" I just sit down at the back of the class beside James. I don't care anymore.

Ed's P.O.V

Keller stumbles in looking less put together than usual. Her hair is in an angry nest surrounding her head and the tongues of the shoes are sticking up. She bites viciously at her lips and rubs her hands self conciously and plops down into her chair, completely ignoring Mr.Pandler's question altogether. He lets it slide and just purses his lips and returns to scribbling away on the chalkboard.

"Hey, what's wrong?" I whisper to Keller. She smiles maniacally before answering.

"Literally everything," is her answer. She turns away and starts rubbing at her hands again. She reaches into her bag and spills tons on hand sanitizer on it even though they're squeaky clean. That's weird, I think while shaking my head and return to my work. The bell rings and Keller runs away followed by several mutterings of "freak" and "physco".

"What in the world was that about?" asks Will with a worried expression on his face.

"You mean the obessive hand rubbing and lip biting? I think she's nervous about something," I reply unsure.

"No, she's scared. You can see it in her eyes," says James. We stand in silence worried about our friend.

"Hey, you guys want to meet up for lunch later?" says Al breaking the tension.

""I meeting Ellis later," says Will.

"I'm seeing Lorena," Ian adds.

"I've got nothing," I answer and James nods in agreement. We disperse and head off to our different classes, but my mind is on Keller. I hope she's okay.

Keller's P.O.V

Need to get to the washroom, I really need to get to the washroom. Bad idea. I make it inside the huge restroom and I immediately regret coming here. The huge mirror reflects my apperance. I splash cold water on my face. Maybe I'm still sleeping.

"You're not crazy," I try to convince myself.  I shakingly pull out my comb. My hair is still matted with blood and I nervously comb it out. I'm still bruised and bloody and the red liquid is leaking through my shirt in the mirror. I look down but it's still white and pristine. I look back, bloody. I look down, clean. It goes over and over again until I get dizzy.

"You're totally losing your mind," I whisper.  I carefully lift my shirt to  see my skinned stomach and scarred arms from my dream and I feel faint. The world spins and I groan and my breath shakes when I realize that I'm broken everywhere yet I don't feel any of it. Broken in my eyes, put together to the rest. I've heard of abuse driving people insane, but I've never actually experienced it. My legs go wobbly and my breathing goes shallow. University, no university will accept me. No university will accept a crazy person. Now I'll never get out of here, I hate here. I hate the points and stares and mean names and abuse. I hate here and now I'm never getting out. All because I got abused when I was young, all because I let them abuse me.  I crawl in a stall and cry until I almost throw up.  I finally let my dad get inside my head, and he's not even here yet.

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